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Down the River is a collection of essays both timeless and timely. It is an exploration of the abiding beauty of some of the last great stretches of American wilderness on voyages down rivers where the body and mind float free, and the grandeur of nature gives rise to meditations on everything from the life of Henry David Thoreau to the militarization of the open range. At the same time, it is an impassioned condemnation of what is being done to our natural heritage in the name of progress, profit, and security. Filled with fiery dawns, wild and shining rivers, and radiant sandstone canyons, it is charged as well with heartfelt, rampageous rage at human greed, blindness, and folly. It is, in short, Edward Abbey at his best, where and when we need him most.
About the Author
Edward Abbey, a self-proclaimed “agrarian anarchist,” was hailed as the “Thoreau of the American West.” Known nationally as a champion of the individual and one of this country’s foremost defenders of the natural environment, he was the author of twenty books, both fiction and nonfiction, including Desert Solitaire, The Monkey Wrench Gang, and The Journey Home. In 1989, at the age of sixty-two, Edward Abbey died in Oracle, Arizona.
“Abbey’s unique prose voice… is the voice of a full-blooded man airing his passions… alternately misanthropic and sentimental, enraged and hilarious.”—People
“The man, quite simply, is a master.”—The Bloomsbury Review
“A record as important and lovely as Muir’s or Thoreau’s.”—New York Post
“One of our foremost Western essayists and novelists. A militant conservationist, he has attracted a large following—not only within the ranks of Sierra Club enthusiasts and backpackers, but also among armchair appreciators of good writing. What always made his work doubly interesting is the sense of a true maverick spirit at large—a kind of spirit not imitable, limited only to the highest class of literary outlaws.”—The Denver Post
“Abbey is a gadfly with a stinger like a scorpion.”—Wallace Stegner
“In his own inimitable fashion, Abbey prevails among the scant handful of our best and brightest fresh-air scribes.”—Chicago Sun-Times